Our study last week was based on Psalm 103; there are times when we humans are forgetful, but we are noting things that God does not forget about us. I'm hoping that this two week study of this familiar and well-loved Psalm will be of help to some of those who study here.
Let's get back to it!
We can see examples of this in history, as well as in our world today. Many years ago, Charles Darwin assisted in the work of humanism, dismantling the idea of a God-created world. Millions have been led astray by his words. In the here and now, we have such widely-read people as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and the like -- they and those who revere them sneer at believers and the Word of God.
They are able to amass millions of dollars because they are gifted with words, with clarity of mind, and with life itself. They are unable to accept the fact that even that life is a gift from God -- He doesn't crush them like an eggshell, snuff out their lives..... He doesn't, as the verses state, treat them as they deserve.
It is the long-suffering of God that allows these and others like them to exist, and to continue to deny Him. Why?
Well, I believe that our God is all-powerful, omniscient, and forgiving. He's not the least bit intimidated or worried about people like this, and so He feeds and nourishes them, gives them health, and more. They are tools in the hands of Satan, after all, and we know how the story ends!
This verse explains that God is withholding His punishment of them. He shows mercy to them. And Paul tells us why:
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)So, God continues to show mercy to people who are dedicated to erasing His presence and influence in this world.
He does not treat us as we deserve, whether we are believers or unbelievers.
Have you ever been involved in an argument, perhaps a very heated one, and little by little, you realize you have been holding the wrong end of the stick? But you keep on arguing because you don't want to admit that you are wrong?
Or have you ever known someone who just seems to love to argue? They will try to keep a quarrel going, and they absolutely must have the last word.
Well, our Father God is not like that. He is willing to end the quarrel and welcome us home. Sometimes, though, we are not ready to stop. We want to keep fighting.
He is more ready to forgive us than we are ready to be forgiven.
He tempers His wrath.....when we forget to pray or to spend time with His Word, He remembers to feed us. He will bring verses to our mind and nourish our souls.
When we forget to give Him thanks, He sends us restful sleep. We have an opportunity the next morning to start afresh and anew.
When we remain in sin, He sends the Spirit to nudge and convict us.
When we refuse to give of ourselves to Him, He keeps on giving and blessing us.
When we fail, He lifts us up.
When we disappoint Him, or ourselves, or others, He still calls us His children.